September 12, 2019

Amnesty International Canada is sounding the alarm about the violation of people’s right to freedom of expression, saying critics of Alberta's oil and gas industry face threats, intimidation and violations of their human rights under Premier Jason Kenney's government. The Council of Canadians shares these concerns.

Kenney ran on a promise that included plans to establish an “energy war room” and hold a public inquiry into the alleged foreign funding of groups who oppose or criticize energy developments in the province.

As reported by the CBC and other media outlets across Canada, Amnesty’s Secretary General Alex Neve wrote an open letter to Premier Kenney, urging the United Conservative government to end plans for both the public inquiry into the funding issue and the energy "war room."

September 11, 2019

Ballot box

And they’re off!

This morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Governor General Julie Payette to dissolve Parliament, launching Canada into its 43rd general election.

With just under six weeks to election day on October 21, federal candidates and parties are running flat out to earn your vote.

In August we asked Council of Canadians supporters like you how you wanted to be involved in the election. More than 10,000 people responded to our survey and your results gave us clear direction.

Your top election priority is climate change. When support for a Green New Deal and protecting the environment are added in, there is no doubt that ensuring a better future for our planet is foremost on your mind.

September 10, 2019

TMX showdown photo by AJ Klein
TMX showdown. Photo credit: AJ Klein

You may have heard the news that the Federal Court of Appeal will soon hear six legal challenges to the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline project. The challenges will once again focus on the “consultation” with Indigenous peoples directly impacted by this project.

Before taking power in 2015, Justin Trudeau promised his government would not only consult First Nations, but would obtain consent from communities before projects like this one could proceed.

There has never been clear consent for the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The Federal Court has already ruled once that public consultation for this 1,150 km pipeline expansion, which would take bitumen from the tar sands in Alberta to British Columbia for export, was inadequate, and it overturned the original approval for the project.

September 5, 2019

Sister Angie Martz accepting her Founder’s Award from Maude Barlow at the Council of Canadians’ 2009 annual general meeting
Sister Angie Martz accepting her Founder’s Award from Maude Barlow at the Council of Canadians’ 2009 annual general meeting

The Council of Canadians community mourns the passing of our dear friend Sister Angie Martz. A lifelong activist, teacher and spiritual leader for many across generations in her community of Saint John, NB, Sister Angie remained active and engaged in advancing social justice until her final days.

“Angie was and will continue to be my guiding light,” said Leticia Adair, friend, member of the Saint John Chapter and former Council board member. “One of the founding members of our Chapter, Angie was always present at meetings, participating in actions and writing letters. Water rights and working on behalf of refugees was close to her heart. Her faith, firm resolve and commitment to justice, has sustained and guided us for the past 30 years. I will miss her dearly.”

September 5, 2019

Maude Barlow has spent her life learning about water and sharing information and sounding the alarm about what humans are doing it. She says, “I have never discovered any more powerful truth than this: the world will only be transformed from the bottom up, from people fighting in their own communities because they care.”

In her new book Whose Water is it Anyway? Taking water protection into public hands, she explores how the Blue Communities Project, a grassroots-based campaign that gives people tools they can use to push for the protection of water at the municipal level. The text below is an excerpt of the book. Maude will be embarking on a multi-city book tour this fall.

This is a book about hope.

It is a story about everyday people defending the water resources of their communities and protecting the broader human right to water by ensuring it is now and forever a public trust, one that must not be allowed to fall under private, for-profit control.